I am not Ed and I don't have any answers--just more questions.
Since starting the diet 12 days ago I stopped taking a supplement which had pumpkin seed oil as one of its ingredients. Pumpkin seeds are an avoid for me. Do I really need to avoid tiny amounts (40 mg per day) of pumpkin seed oil? Just where in the pumpkins seed are these nasty lectins located?
The general question is whether all the components of an avoid food need to be avoided. I suspect the answer is "No" and that some kind of investigation must be carried out on each food component in order to classify that component properly.
A related general question seems equally easy to answer, at least to me. The question is: if food "A" contains food "B" as one of its components, is food "A" also an avoid food. I would have thought that the answer would have had to have been an unequivocal "Yes, foods that contain avoid foods are avoid foods."
After all, this is not a diet based on food-combining principles. The diet does not dictate that some foods are avoids only when eaten separately, but are neutral when eaten in combination. As I understand the diet, an avoid is an avoid, whether it is combined with another food or whether it is the ingredient of another food. The diet seems to be based on analytical principles: meals consist of foods, and foods consist of ingredients. The value assigned a meal ("Highly Beneficial," "Neutral," or "Avoid") is determined by the value assigned to its constituent foods, and the value assigned to a food is determined by the value assigned to its constituent ingredients. Or so it seemed to me.
I now realize that my understanding of the diet is flawed, and I would I hope someone can help me out. There are some foods on the neutral lists, which contain foods on the avoid lists. I am an AB, so my examples will be from that diet, but these seeming contradictions appear in other diets as well.
Example: Barley malt is an "Avoid" Spice. Yet Grape Nuts, which owe their sweetness to the barley malt contained in them, are a "Neutral" Cereal.
Example: Vinegar is an "Avoid" Spice. Yet the Condiment mustard, which consists of dry mustard ("Neutral" Spice) and vinegar, is a "Neutral" Condiment.
At first I thought that maybe these examples were trivial and petty, since the amount of barley malt consumed in a bowl of Grape Nuts is small, and I am not supposed to eat that much prepared mustard anyway.
But that doesn't seem to be an adequate explanation. The amount of black pepper contained in foods is also usually small (comparable to the amount of barley malt in Grape Nuts), yet it is still an avoid. I don't wish to appear rigid and absolutistic, but I am new to the diet and I received the impression from the book that even small amounts of an avoid food were capable of creating disturbances for a person with serious health problems.
So I am still stuck with what appears to be a contradiction between my understanding of the diet's principles (avoid foods containing avoid foods), and my understanding of the diet's practical application (do not avoid some foods containing avoid foods).
I ask these questions in a spirit of cooperation with those who participate in the discussions here. This board is my first and principal Internet experience. I am not trying to trash the diet or the book, just understand them (and, for me at least, make them clearer). I am a pragmatist with broader interests. If it turns out that the diet's practical applications work that would be great. If it turns out that the diet's practical applications work and that there is a good theory to explain why, that would be even better.